car2go all-electric carsharing network launched in North America

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 21, 2011

The first all-electric carsharing network in North America has been officially launched by car2go N.A., LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, and the City of San Diego. What this means is that for the entire San Diego area, emissions-free driving would become an affordable option and will be broadly available.

San Diego drivers will be pleased that the car2go smart fortwo electric drive carsharing network offers them with unparalleled flexibility and convenience when it comes to mobility in the city.

This will mark the first time in North America that an entire city will get on-demand access to a huge network of electric drive cars. Car2go is recognized for its achievements in flexible and tailor-made individual mobility.

Thomas Weber, the Daimler Board of Management member tasked for research and development, said that the company seeks to serve its customers with both leading-edge technology and groundbreaking new concepts.

The rollout of this concept is being accelerated. Beginning on Nov. 18, 2011, San Diego will be included in a worldwide car2go network with a fleet of emission-free smart fortwo electric drive. Last Friday, car2go started to deploy 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles in San Diego. These are now in service and can already be used. Mayor Jerry Sanders said that car2go’s investment is “another major step toward making San Diego the nation’s electric-vehicle capital.”

The smart fortwo electric drive helps more people choose electric mobility with a new marketing concept. It comes with the sale&care package that allows customers to lease, finance, or purchase the car at a reasonable price and then rent the battery. The price of the rental will also include regular maintenance and even fast battery replacements. The company also has an option for those who want to forego on the battery rental and just buy the entire car.

German customers will love the sale&care price of €22,000 (including VAT) for the cabrio version and €18,910 for the coupé version. The batteries are for rent for only €65. The low cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle makes the smart fortwo hard to resist.

A number of countries are now giving additional perks for electric car drivers such as being able to use special lanes or being exempt from city congestion charges. This helps make electric cars very attractive to customers. smart fortwo adds to that by coming up with the sale&care package and giving the car top of the line technology, giving customers an affordable option for everyday driving that is also environmentally friendly.

If you want to purchase the entire vehicle you only need to pay €23,680 for the coupé and €26,770 for the cabrio.

The electric vehicle was introduced at the International Motor Show and interested people could go to their Web site to sign up for the latest information on the new car. In some countries such as Germany, Spain, France, the UK, and Italy, people could also make advance reservations to be among the first to own the smart fortwo. The campaign has led to registered users numbering to tens of thousands, while a four-figure number of people have already reserved.

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